Common Household Items Needed By Shelters

by Melissa on November 17, 2011

Are you cleaning house? If so, take a look around and see if you have anything to donate to a local animal shelter! Animal shelters thrive on donations, and not just monetary donations. Shelters often need items for the animals, but also items to keep the building clean. Here are just some household items that shelters can use, and you can donate.

Pillows- Some pillows are big enough to be used as pet beds, especially for small pets.

Hand sanitizer- This is needed to protect shelter workers and volunteers, as well as the public and potential adopters, safe from germs. It also prevents the spread of germs if someone is handling one animal and moves on to another.

Newspapers- This is often used for bedding for small animals, as litter (when shredded), or to line the floor with if pets have accidents.

Blankets, towels, and washcloths- These have many uses. Blankets keep pets warm and comfortable, and are sometimes used as beds. They are also used to swaddle scared pets. Towels and washcloths have many of the same uses as they do in the home.

Bleach- Bleach is often used in shelters to disinfect floors, walls, or fabrics.

Laundry detergent- This is self-explanatory, but shelters go through a lot of detergent as they wash beds and other linens used by animals.

Rubber gloves- These are handy for keeping animal handlers safe from germs, and for performing certain health checks. Rubber gloves also protect workers’ hands from harmful chemicals if they are using cleaners, like bleach.

Trash bags-  Shelters go through trash bags very quickly, especially when cleaning litter pans.

Baby food- Baby food is often used for sick or young animals, as it is mild on digestive systems.

When donating items to the shelter, make sure they are sealed and unused, at least when it comes to items like food or cleaning supplies. Blankets and towels should always be washed and clean, and in gently worn condition. If you do have items to donate that are open, like bags of food or treats, always contact the shelter first to see if they are allowed to take open items. Most shelters do not take these types of items to be on the safe side in order to protect against the spread of disease or illness. No matter what you decide to donate, it’s a great way to support a local shelter.

[photo credit]

This article was written by My Pet Saving’s contributor Melissa. She has a master’s degree in creative writing, owns several pets and runs her own online pet magazine. To learn more about this author check out the contributor profile page.

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{ 4 comments }

Alexus November 18, 2011 at 3:43 AM

I volunteer at a shelter and one thing we constantly need is dish soap! Seems simple, but with hundreds of animals that need clean dishes, it goes faster than you think!

Kristy November 18, 2011 at 8:27 AM

Great point Alexus! Thanks for sharing. :)

Rachel November 18, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Great article! :) As a former shelter worker, donations are always welcome! And if you’re feeling extra generous, you could brighten the day for the shelter workers by bring in cookies or a fruit basket! I always appreciated when members of the community showed us gratitude for our hard work. But if you can’t afford to donate anything, then volunteering is even better! Even an hour of your time to walk a dog or two or hold a cat in your lap makes a difference. As much as the workers love animals, we often don’t have the time to give the animals the attention they deserve. :)

Kristy November 20, 2011 at 11:42 PM

Excellent tips Rachel, thanks for your comment.

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